Jeff Houck with Pitching to the Media

Jeff Houck from Tampa Tribune

Jeff Houck is a food writer for Tampa Tribune and food blogger at The Stew on TBO.com.

On Tuesday, April 5th, I was privileged to hear Jeff Houck speak in my PR Writing Class about “Pitching to the Media’. His experience and knowledge with journalism has helped me to look the “fun” aspect of journalism. Not many people can say how effective and how fun journalism can be. Jeff Houck is a humorous and truthful person whose knowledge towards pitching to the media was very insightful.

Ten things when Pitching to the Media:

  1. Relationships are key: having strong relationships with people will get you far. Why? Because these people may become your future clients or they may help you land a great job.
  2. Bad Language: when having a pitch, make sure it is clear and straight to the point. If there is too much going on, chances are that your story will not be published.
  3. Pitching Errors: Before submitting a story make sure that there are no errors. Make sure you proof read your story several times (have a second eye also) before submitting. This will make the process easier for you and the journalist to submit the story.
  4. Deadlines: Not many people are cautious of the time. Deadlines are extremely important and you have to submit the deadline as soon as possible, even weeks before can be better. This will give the journalist time to edit and possibly submit the story even sooner.
  5. Honesty: When receiving information, know that everyone is not going to be honest. Have a back up plan when you decide to do the “pitch”.
  6. Selling the Story: Know your story but not too much that you have to over sell it. “Don’t sell the product, sell the story.”
  7. Headlines: When writing your headline, keep it short, simple and catchy. “Cut to the chase”
  8. Title your Email Correctly: When emailing a news release or trying to consume some information, make sure your email is professional including the title. This will help you to quickly achieve your goal and it helps your email to not be thought of as spam.
  9. Ask the Journalist: Before you do anything on sending information to a journalist, make sure you ask what would they like to see and what are there pet peeves. This will make it less stressful while trying to release your story.
  10. Have fun with pitching: Love what you do while doing it. This will insure that your work will come out greatly. Pitching can be easy, simple, and fun if you follow all steps.

Follow: Jeff Houck on Twitter

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Thank you to Barbara Nixon for having Jeff Houck speak in our PR Writing Class at Southeastern University.

Follow: Barbara Nixon on Twitter

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2 thoughts on “Jeff Houck with Pitching to the Media

  1. It was a really great opportunity to have Jeff Houck come and speak to our class. A lot of what you mentioned in your blog post stuck out to me during his presentation as well. Something that stood out to me was the importance of the subject line in an email. Jeff Houck mentioned that if the subject line of the email does not catch his eye, it could easily get disregarded, trashed, or even spammed. This is important to realize, and it a really good thing to remember. Thanks for the blog, and for reminding me of all the good information Jeff shared with us!

  2. Pingback: Blog Comments « Inside the world of Public Relations

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